Puszta (pōˈstä) [key], arid grasslands that once covered a large part of the Alföld, E Hungary. They were used for extensive cattle raising. With the irrigation and drainage projects of the late 19th cent., the Puszta disappeared except in the small Hortobagy region (c.100 sq mi/260 sq km), near Debrecen. Old customs of the Puszta are preserved there, mainly for the tourist trade.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.